The bats came alive for the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday with each starter recorded a hit, as they downed the Chicago White Sox by the score of 8-6 at Comerica Park, despite a late comeback from the visitors.
A five-run third inning highlighted the night for the Tigers’ offense. Ian Kinsler broke open the 1-1 tie with a two-run double to left field that plated Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis, who played center field tonight and went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the leadoff spot.
Miguel Cabrera broke his 0-for-12 slump versus left-handed pitching in 2014 with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run home run in the third inning. Cabrera led the way for the Tigers offensively, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and raising his batting average 29 points in the meantime.
Alex Avila had also been struggling mightily in 2014, especially against left-handers, but he put together an excellent game using Comerica Park’s giant right field gap to his advantage. Avila smacked an RBI double in the fifth inning that plated newcomer J.D. Martinez. Avila finished the night going 3-for-4, his first three-hit game of the short 2014 season.
Justin Verlander seems to be back to his Cy Young form of 2011 and 2012. Verlander (3-1) scattered eight hits across seven innings, allowing just two runs while striking out seven and walking two. The Tigers ace April ERA is down to 2.18 to begin the season, his best start to a season in his big league career.
Tuesday’s game was supposed to feature two of the best pitchers in the American League, but White Sox starter Chris Sale was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a flexor strain. White Sox pitcher Charlie Leesman got the spot start , and the Tigers took advantage of the White Sox young pitcher.
Davis and Kinsler were the other Tigers to record multiple hits against the White Sox, joining Avila and Cabrera. The Tigers offense broke out with eight runs and 15 hits, after scoring just three runs in their past two games.
White Sox rookie Jose Abreu got the scoring going early for the visiting team with his solo home run off Verlander in the first inning, but the Tigers pitcher would settle down nicely there after. Right fielder Dayan Viciedo was one of the few bright spots for the White Sox, going 4-for-4 with a double and raising his average to .361.
The Tigers carried a five-run lead into the top of the ninth inning before reliever Phil Coke allowed a three-run home run to White Sox slugger Adam Dunn, cutting the Tigers’ lead to two late in the ball game. Coke’s ERA has now inflated to 13.50. Before the 2014 season, Coke signed a non-guarenteed one-year deal with the Tigers as a chance to prove himself in the bullpen.
The Tigers (10-7) continue their four-game series against the White Sox (10-11) on Wednesday at Comerica Park. Drew Smyly will take the mound for his second start of the season as he takes on Andre Rienzo, who was called up for Sale. The first pitch is set for 7:05 in Detroit.
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